I can’t believe it’s been a year already. One year since my mom said her last words, took her last breath. One year since I held her hand as I told her how much I loved her. One year since I told her how lucky I was to have her as my mom.
It’s been a year of transition. A year of tears. A year of laughter. A year of remembering. A year of learning to deal with the grief – of dealing with the hole in your heart that you know will always be there.
In so many ways it flew by. It seems like just yesterday that we were saying our goodbyes. But in some ways it feels like so long since I’ve seen that dimpled smile, heard the sound of her laughter, and felt the warmth of her hugs. So long since I’ve had a real conversation with her.
I talk to my mom every single day. Every single day I tell her I love her and miss her. Every single day I tell her about something going on in my life. I know exactly what she would say to me. I can see the expression on her face. So, I continue to have conversations with Mom. But, I miss the real thing. I just miss her – so very much.
And I know that I always will. I know that grief doesn’t “end”. It’s forever. I know it lessens with time. Life gets a bit easier. But, grief becomes your companion. And you learn to live with it.
You deal with the times that you’re driving down the road and all of a sudden tears start streaming down your face because of a song, a billboard, a fleeting thought. You deal with the bigger moments – birthdays, holidays, anniversaries. But, I find those smaller moments are the ones that knock me for a loop so much more than the “big” events. I’ve learned to expect the unexpected with grief.
And while I’m still sad, I know in my heart that Mom is telling me and those she loved that we need to live our lives. That we need to remember her, but not be sad about it. We need to celebrate her life and honor her memory. She would want all of us to be happy and to follow our dreams. She would want us to live life to the fullest.
I think about all I learned from her throughout the 49 years I had with her. I learned about sweetness and kindness. I learned about being sassy. And, even though Dad doesn’t have much of a filter, neither did Mom. So, I guess I got that from both of them. I’d like to think I learned to be a good listener from Mom. Most importantly, I learned how to love unconditionally from Mom. She truly loved her family unconditionally. I hope I have made her proud.
So, as we mark the one year anniversary of her leaving this earth physically, we need to also celebrate a wonderful life – the life of a woman who laughed and cried, was happy and sad. Who got angry every now and again. Who gave me the stink eye when I sassed her. Who was at once sweet and salty. Who took her sweet time doing things. Who gave the best hugs. Who truly loved with her whole heart.
“I miss you, Mom. So very much.”
“I’m still with you Sweat Pea. I’m in your heart. And I always will be.”
“I know, Mom. I feel you there every day. I feel your love all the time.”
“I love you, Little One. Now get back to work…and clean your room!”
Sweet and sassy – always. Loving and loved…forever.